Sales teams are all about innovation to drive increased productivity, and with today’s expanding technology base, it’s imperative your sales team has access to the tools they need. We’re going to take a look at four technologies that can be implemented in order to increases sales production and drive more revenue to your business.
As Lynne Zaledonis, the VP of Product marketing for SalesForce’s Sales Cloud product, says, “A sales rep can only be as productive as the time spent selling.” We’re always asking our sales teams to make more phone calls, send moreemails, set more meetings. All this activity, however, can create a large amount of administrative work. Reps have to log notes, follow up with old prospects, research competitor price offerings, build quotes, etc. These are all tasks that need to be done, but they keep sales people from selling.
Let AI be the new administrator that keeps your sales reps selling more. AI can log the notes from a phone call for you. It can read through your emails and highlight promising prospects to focus on. AI can filter through your current prospects and match them with previously successful sales in order to drive predictive pricing it knows will convert.
AI is the ultimate sales assistant when used properly within a sales force. Using predictive analytics, AI can automate the administrative work that keeps sales people off the road and off the phones, while helping them prioritize which prospects to focus on in order to convert faster.
According to Mark Hurd, the CEO of Oracle, “80% of corporate data centers will be gone by 2025.” It makes sense. A problem for many companies is finding a way to provide their teams with 24/7 access to their data, and providing easy ways to access that data from anywhere. This is why a tech giant like Oracle is investing so heavily in cloud technology applications that are accessible from anywhere, at any time. That’s the future of how we work.
Moving to the cloud does many amazing things for our sales departments and team members. Reps are no longer “offline” when they aren’t in the office.
Taking two days to travel cross country for a one-hour meeting is much more productive if the rep can be making calls, analyzing data, and finding the next prospect at the same time. Using a cloud-based sales system also greatly reduces the maintenance costs of your network by reducing hardware costs and the need for expensive IT professionals.
Relying on cloud-based technologies may introduce some other needs as well.
The larger your team,the more data they’ll collect from hundreds or thousands of prospects. Without a unified system, your teams will lose time overcoming redundancies and finding information that exists somewhere else. Using organization tools like PieSync, for example, can help structure all the contact information you gather across hundreds of apps in one easily accessible place.
I wouldn’t have included this section even two years ago. But AI and language processing software have grown so much recently that chatbots are becoming quite useful. Chatbots are all about proactive communication. Rather than waiting for customers or potential customers to contact a brand, chatbots greet visitors with a message of your choosing. This immediately opens a channel of communication between the brand and a potential customer which establishes a relationship on the brand’s terms.
Once a relationship is established, the chatbot can begin moving potential customers through the sales funnel, leading them to the parts of your site where they are most likely to convert. Returning customers can also form stronger bonds with a brand if they know they can arrive on the company’s website and get answers right away.
Building chatbots has also never been easier. Companies like Intercom, Crisp and others allow almost anyone to set up a custom chatbot on their site to help improve customer service and increase sales.
For sales purposes, social networks mean two things: branding and relationships. One of the first pieces of advice I received when I got into sales was “people buy from people.” It was a simple way of telling me to make sure I was always focused on my relationship with the people I was talking to, before I was worried about selling them something. Social media is the newest tool sales reps can use to build those relationships.
Reps should be following and using relevant hashtags in their industry and sharing tweets from potential prospects. Commenting on a prospect’s Facebook page or retweeting an individual’s post is a great way to get their attention. These platforms are designed to be fast and easy to use. A single rep can connect with 100’s of people must faster through social platforms than they ever could cold-calling. If a sales rep can establish a connection first, the sales pitch will be much more likely to succeed.
If done right, social media can be a fantastic branding tool. Platforms like Instagram, Twitter and Facebook have given brands a way to develop their identities in unprecedented ways. If customers like who you are as a brand from the posts you create or other authors you share, they will become more loyal. Loyal customers become repeat customers. Brands who develop large followings can also count on increased traffic to their web properties increasing sales with proper optimization.
Technology is certainly creating issues for sales teams. But it’s important to realize that the driving forces behind great sales people are always the same, and there is plenty of other technology out there that helps make us better. AI and the cloud are helping teams stay connected and be more efficient in their sales process. Chatbots and social media are allowing brands to create alikeable identity and grow a loyal customer base. The key is to embrace what’s out there before it leaves you behind!